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Religion Of Tibet

The Tibet Religion has made a great effect on the history, culture and life of Tibetan people for thousands of years. Almost people are faithful to it. Religion is very important to the Tibetans with everything being centered around it.  Education (although there wasn't a formal educational system) as well as anything cultural or intellectual, was based on religious beliefs, with the leaders in the government being Buddhist monks. Their oldest religion is Bon, and after that the Buddhism spreads. Nowadays, most of the people in Tibet are Lamaists. Tibet's religion is a blend of the Bon and the Buddhism.

The Bon
Bon, the short name of Bonpo, is also known as "Black Religion" since the followers all wear black head-wear. The Bon makes a great effect on the development of the Buddhism in history and nowadays.  Overshadowed by the prevailing Tibetan Buddhism, Bon is the indigenous religion of Tibet and originated in about the 5th century BC. Bon is full of mystery and has stirred the curiosity of many researchers and secular people despite it being overshadowed by the popular Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibet Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India. It is the state religion of Bhutan. It is also practiced in Mongolia and parts of Russia (Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva) and Northeast China.

A Tibetan diaspora(a term used to refer to the communities of Tibetan people living outside Tibet) has spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million. 

Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from ancient Tibetan religion, Bon. Most of the Tibetan population observes Tibetan Buddhism, which has evolved into four divisions:

- Nyingma(pa),"the Ancient Ones". This is the oldest, and its original order was founded by Padmasambhava. The Nyingmapa lamas wear red robes and hats, so it is also known as the Red Sect. Its lamas may marry and usually live in small groups. The sect retains many more of the Bon features than the other sects.  Nyingmapa lamas believe that the mind is pure and that by cultivating one's being in such a way as to reject all outside influences, it is possible to become as one with Buddha.

 - Kagyu(pa), "Lineage of the (Buddha's) Word". This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its doctrines are unique and stress a combination of the practice of quasi-qigong and Buddhist satori. Kagyu(pa) is also known as White sect. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th century mystic.

- Sakya(pa), "Grey Earth". This school very much represents the scholarly tradition. Headed by the Sakya Trizin, this tradition was founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa and traces its lineage to the Indian master Virupa. A renowned exponent, Sakya Pandita 1182–1251CE was the great grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo.

- Gelug(pa), "Way of Virtue". Gelugpa is the order of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama and is also called the Yellow Sect. It was founded by Tsong Khapa, a great Buddhist reformer, in 1407. It absorbed Kahdampa and carried on Atisha's tradition. It stresses strict discipline and study of the scriptures. Its successful reform made it dominant in Tibet after the 17th century.

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